Pamala Clift’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Pamala Clift is a researcher and consultant with Virtual Handhold, LLC and here is her story.

Problem: I was working at a University where they didn’t understand online culture, yet I could see great value in the engagement, memory retention, and energy level for educational purposes.  I tried to mention at work about the online music and research, and the people from around the world I was meeting. I was told “Shut up” about anything that had to do with my online communications. Everyone else got to talk freely at the university about their hobbies, dog shows, skiing, where they went out to drink, but I was “restricted” from ever mentioning at work the name of the computer interface where I was engaged. Censored!  After a professor at the University was announced as working for the same computer social media site, I was told to keep it quiet — THIS college will not engage in social media.  The next week the President of the University told them they had to incorporate social media. I told them how, and they said NO. Theirs turned out wrong and they had to change it back to what I told them. They hated that!  Everything I did online, they not only disagreed with, they chastised me, and wrote me up with HR because I was using an online name on Facebook. Eventually, they juggled my position to the top of the layoff list with the budget reductions.

So unemployed in a down economy, my focus still on getting people to open up to understanding how to best integrate virtual in with real, I decided to open my own business. I went through all the paperwork and legalities using unemployment money and my few contracts to help finance it.  I had created a group that had several hundred members called The Roadside Philosophers who would meet fortnightly to discuss philosophical matters. The members were not geographically restricted in their perspectives and I learned to peaceably facilitate a brainstorming group during extremely diverse discussions online. I joined an educational group online and taught the lectures that I developed from my years facilitating the Roadside Philosophers, and called it my State of Being lecture. I taught it to hundreds, if not thousands, and received great feedback. I had an excellent construct that would help people to integrate life online. Researchers, scientists, professors and PhD students came to me for assistance, but there would be hiccups when they slipped from a dissociative status to an immersive one. They would fall in love online, make some connections they should probably have not, and the realization caused so much pain that the research would stop.

How am I going to help prove value if I lose my researchers to the environment? What could I do? I can’t stop people from seeking out answers to their needs, so I pressed forward. Now I would need to deal with the very awkward topic of avatar perceptions and virtual relationships…sigh. So I spent a year writing the book “Virgin’s Handbook on Virtual Relationships,” but lost my editor for personal reasons and had to do the editing as best I could myself.  The cost of self-publishing was daunting but I created a Kickstarter project which required a video and tons of nagging and projects, but within a month of raising funds, I had met my goal and sent it off. First in paperback, then to Kindle, and now accessible to over seven countries. Now my work project is marketing. How to get it out, noticed, and into the hands of those that need it?  Working on re-editing the book from my first feeble try, doing an audible version and an Apple Books version are all on the horizon. I am seeing some educational universities that are starting to get the possibilities of online education, but none are seeing the whole picture that 3D environments offer.  What makes Work Worth it…seeing progress toward a larger goal.  Every good review, every book sold, every person’s comment; people sharing their successes and failures gets me closer to my goal of allowing humans to effectively engage with online computer-mediated interfaces. Will it ever come to an end? Maybe. But, people are slow to change and I am only one biological unit with an expiration date; I may never live to see it.

About John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.